Anxiety – could Connection with our Body be the Key?

We have all experienced anxiety at some point in life, some more than others. It can be a debilitating condition that creates stress and affects us in many ways; in our ability to relate, to work effectively and to be in the world in a confident and calm way. I know the times in the past when I have experienced anxiety I have felt overwhelmed and powerless, unable to feel clear or be at ease with myself.

I recall experiencing panic attacks and anxiety so badly at times that I felt I would be unable to leave home for fear of not being able to handle the situations or people that I would run into. I felt totally immobilised and would start to get hot sweats, feeling like I couldn’t function properly if I saw anyone I knew, and if I did speak with them my face would go bright red making me feel even more anxious, compounding the stress I was already feeling.

Up until this point I had only experienced mild panic attacks that were short-lived but my desire to do something thrilling for my birthday ended up triggering panic attacks and anxiety that would go on for months. I had decided to do a tandem skydive for my birthday. When it came time to jump from 14,000 feet I was incredibly scared but was encouraged to jump with my skydiver, and suddenly this didn’t feel like fun at all. I finally made it to the ground and breathed a sigh of relief knowing that I now had my feet firmly planted and was still alive.

The experience was one I would never do again, as I didn’t enjoy it one bit and nearly fainted whilst in free-fall. It probably only lasted a minute or two but felt like much longer because of the distress and discomfort I was feeling in my body.

What happened in my life for the next few months was possibly harder for me to deal with than the skydive itself. I suddenly developed frequent panic attacks and the thought of leaving the house and doing my grocery shopping etc. seemed all too hard. There was a sense of hopelessness and I would fear being embarrassed whilst I was out in public. I am naturally a warm, friendly and open person so this was quite noticeably different from my usual behaviour and initially I felt totally incapable of dealing with it as I had lost any confidence in myself and was always fearing the worst.

I became a hermit for a short while, only venturing out when I needed to, as I felt ill-equipped to deal with what may happen unexpectedly to me. I created a wall of protection for myself so that I didn’t feel hurt in any way, but this wall ended up feeling more exhausting and didn’t help me to face what was truly going on. I still needed to go to work, which was probably a good thing as it got me out of the house and I noticed when I was committed to my work the anxiety didn’t seem to exist as much because my focus was on others rather than on myself. While getting ready for work I would convince myself that I would be fine, that there was a part of me that could trust myself and know I would be ok as I had lived without this anxiety ruling me for many years, therefore this anxiety wasn’t who I was and it didn’t need to control me and my life.

What supported me greatly was to take the time to check in with my body and to notice if there were any pictures or ideals about how my day should play out – as this was adding to the anxious thoughts. By focussing on my breath I was able to stay more connected to my body and to stop any stories that started circulating around in my head, for if I disconnected from my body the anxious thoughts were able to flood in.

Over time I could feel how staying with my breath supported me to feel a steadiness in my body; I was now beginning to trust myself more and felt a growing confidence within, which gave me a better understanding and acceptance of myself rather than being hard and beating myself up if I felt anxious in front of others. No matter what happened I would have my back and not give up and if I did not apply this then the anxiety would further increase.

Slowly I was beginning to unravel this anxiety that I felt used to own me and now I was taking back control of my life; I had learnt to be more loving with myself and to talk to myself in a more tender and respectful way, as I would to a young child. This has been valuable in building a relationship with myself and my body.

From this experience I can understand how anxiety and panic attacks can take a hold when we begin to perceive that this is who we think we are. I have come to a better understanding of how key it is to stay connected with our body so we are aware of any anxious feelings, not letting them take us away from this connection and not allowing the mind to take over with any crazy thoughts.

I now experience only mild anxiety at times, and it is with learning to stay more present with myself that I have built this inner confidence that has allowed me to feel I can handle these anxious thoughts and not let them take me over anymore. Learning to become more consistent and steady in my life has given me a solid foundation that has supported me throughout very challenging and difficult times. This has been a gradual process, assisted by learning about some very simple and powerful techniques through attending Universal Medicine presentations where I was introduced to the powerful Gentle Breath Meditation™, a practical and simple meditation that has supported me to feel more steady and present in my body – especially during the times when I feel anxious or stressed in any way.

By Anna Douglass, International Flight Attendant, Mother, dedicated student of the Ageless Wisdom, Australia

Related Reading:
Anxious Much?
Psychotherapist Jean Gamble speaks about Anxiety
Anxiety and expression . . . are they related?

693 thoughts on “Anxiety – could Connection with our Body be the Key?

  1. Our minds if we allow them free reign can take us off in all sorts of directions that then can become our reality of life. I have discovered for myself that actually our mind is our worst enemy and the thoughts that we have are not ours they are fed to us by a consciousness that wants to keep us all locked down and controlled. At some level we do know this as we have written hundreds if not more, books on the subject, films, TV series that show humanity locked down and controlled by an outer force but have yet to admit that it is actually our everyday reality.

  2. The pictures and ideals that we have beforehand cause anxiety as we try to control what can happen and if it doesn’t plays out in the way we want there is a kind of panic, coming back to the body is absolutely a key in this, the love we build in our body makes it possible to make this choice to connect to the body instead of our deceitful mind.

  3. Being present is undoubtedly amazing for our wellbeing. Thinking you are is not it either, the being is about body and the mind is part of that, not the master. I agree my anxiety level is basically none existent through making this choice.

  4. In the past few days I have felt more deeply connected with myself than I can recollect for a long time and this is evident by the way that anxiousness has stayed at bay and I have slept so well.

  5. Just recently I have been having a chat with myself about anxiety, and how anxiety will always be ‘waiting in the wings’ to rush in as it were for us humans should we wobble and disconnect from our bodies and our essence just as described here.

    1. Great description, if we are not present anything can flood in and anxiety is an indicator of this lack of presence. We are sensitive beings, we feel deeply, to deny this brings a tension that many of us attempt to dull and ignore in any way possible.

  6. Connecting to the body is invaluable when it comes to settling ourselves, whether that be when trying to fall asleep, going to work, doing the shopping or anything at all for that matter. When we are absent and disconnected, the mind is prone to being taken over by anything at all, by the craziest of thoughts and the most self-sabotaging comments.

  7. Anxiety can be absolutely crippling so it makes absolute sense that the way to deal with it is to connect with our body because that way we have an anchor that can support us.

  8. It is so true that the expectations that we hold about how we should be or how our lives should be can create a whole of uncertainty and anxiety.

  9. I can magnify my anxiety by what I think about or I can stop it if I come back to feeling my body. I can see the addictiveness in how I can use it at times to not deal with things I need to do.

  10. The learning that everything comes from our connection to our body and the beauty and importance to this brings a healing and understanding to our selves and the way anxiety plays us away from this connection and how feeling our body is our key and guide that supports us to stay steady and settled and how we can come back to this connection and love our essence and who we are.

  11. “What supported me greatly was to take the time to check in with my body and to notice if there were any pictures or ideals about how my day should play out ” Making the choice to stay with our body reduces the chance the mind has to play with us, making anxious thoughts and self-doubt less prevalent.

  12. I am saying a big yes to the question posed in the title of this article. Anxiousness can only get a grip of me if I disconnect from my body and is stopped immediately when I bring my awareness back to my body.

  13. When we are so used to living life through our nervous system, taking flight or fight in every situation that arises, it can seem an unsurmountable challenge to adjust to a more heart centred approach and allow ourselves to be surrendered when we are faced with seeming obstacles. However, I am finding this is an illusion in that it is not that it is impossible to make the switch, it just seems difficult at first because we are up against thousands of years of ingrained behaviours across many lives. In which life and in which moment we choose to make the necessary adjustments will depend on when we each feel ready to let go of what we have so desperately been clinging onto.

    1. I so agree – and to persist – choosing to stay with each moment and returning to our body to the best of our ability. No perfection required – just a consistent commitment.

      1. Consistency is the answer and before too long, conscious presence becomes what is normal and any deviation is easily noticed as it is palpably felt as a dis-ease.

  14. True settlement comes from knowing everything we need to face what lies before us, lives within us. Connection to the body is the key.

  15. When we are “with ourselves”, that is connected to our bodies we have everything that we need to deal with any situation, which means that no anxiety can be present.

  16. I have found that being aware of my movements, body and how I am breathing has absolutely altered how I feel and I used to live with alot of anxiety, now I do not.

  17. Have we ever stopped to wonder where thoughts come from? Are they really ours or do they come from somewhere else and we are just the receivers of them. I say this because sometimes when I decide to do something that goes against the grain of society I get the negative thoughts that I have done something wrong even though on a deeper level I know I haven’t. So where are these thoughts coming from? Is it possible that we receive negative and positive thoughts and if we were to block out the negative thoughts would this increase the positive thoughts?

    1. A question we should all be asking Mary…… ‘Have we ever stopped to wonder where our thoughts come from? Are they really ours or do they come from somewhere else and we are just the receivers of them’ .
      I can so relate as now-a-days some choices that feel completely natural to make, often appears to others that I am going against ‘the norm’. Which brings up another question have we let go of what feels ‘natural’ to us and to our body and replaced it with what ‘the norm’ is. In other words doing what everyone else is doing as to not rock the boat, as to not stand out.

  18. Anxiousness is a horrible feeling that really is an unnecessary evil in our lives, so its great to know it is easy to combat through the gentle breath meditation and staying more connected to ourselves.

  19. Great blog Anna, with time, I overcame being anxious by supporting myself more on a daily basis by going early to bed more consistently, watching what food I was eating (avoiding sugary food). I never tried sky diving as I would be too scared of the drop. The closest experience I had was indoor skydiving which gave me a sensation of flying without the drop, but even that, I won’t do it again.

  20. ‘The powerful Gentle Breath Meditation™, a practical and simple meditation that has supported me to feel more steady and present in my body – especially during the times when I feel anxious or stressed in any way.’ This meditation changed my life, it allowed me feel that there was something more to life than I’d been led to believe – my essence.

  21. Imagine a car who’s engine was seperate to its chassis – wouldn’t it make for an uncomfortable nerve wracking ride? It makes so much sense that internal alerts go off for us when we live disconnected from our body and heart.

  22. I had a pretty big breakthrough with why at certain times I feel anxious. I realised whenever I go into drive and think I have to do something and think about getting some recognition for it, anxiety comes up instantly and I loose my connection with my body. Our bodies tell us so clearly what’s going on.

  23. I have come to a better understanding of how key it is to stay connected with our body so we are aware of any anxious feelings, not letting them take us away from this connection and not allowing the mind to take over with any crazy thoughts’. Nurturing and deeply honouring our bodies is how we stay in tune with our bodies and all they are communicating.

    1. I agree being aware of them and not ignoring them is so important, they are a message just as everything else is and it is wise to listen.

  24. When teaching, children asking them to bring focus on their feet as they line up and come into class is an immediate way of settling them. Bringing awareness to the body in a very simple way is super supportive in countering anxiety, raciness and general unsettlement.

      1. There can be in the moment of asking, some tutting or rolling of eyebrows from a few kids, especially if they are emotional coming off the playground or over excited; but when asking them how they felt about doing this, everyone including the ‘eyebrow raisers’ and ‘tutters’ all exclaimed their love of this exercise and in their words… “it makes us feel calm and ready to learn”

      2. This has just given me a great idea for a presentation I will be doing at my college when it comes to anxiety and food. Feeling our body before moving toward the fridge or any activity we are going to do, gives us a stop moment to connect with what our body actually needs.

  25. Anxiety was so normal to me that my body had no idea how it felt to be free from anxiousness. Now, the more I am in my body and the more understanding I bring myself the more anxiety shows itself as something foreign to me rather than familiar.

  26. This is a very powerful blog as it offers great understanding to how anxiety can run our lives and the practicality of how we can apply it to our living day. Being an anxiety sufferer in the past I can attest to the fact the connection is the antidote to anxiety. I have discovered that when I am not connection to my body and being, I lose sense of what is true as I no longer and being guided by my truth and inner-knowing, and instead am run by my disconnected mind and its self-serving thoughts that always disregard the body. Whenever we are in separation to who we are there is tension and to avoid feeling tension we can go into anxiety to distract us from addressing the tension and the truth it offers us. Come back to connection and there is settlement, awareness, truth and all make sense once again.

  27. The gentler I am with myself the more misfitting my reactions to life (anxiety in this example) are. And the more I realise the stress they build in my body that has got to have an impact down the line at some point.

  28. Whenever we feel anxious or tense, just stopping and bringing attention to our breath, breathing gently in and out, can bring us back in our bodies, thus the anxiousness subsides and we can feel more present.

  29. Thank you Anna… Someone being open and honest about anxiety is so innately healing for so many people. So many people are feeling anxiousness and yet there is this feeling that we cannot talk about this… The stigma of anything that smacks of mental disturbance carries on.

  30. I am finding that connection with the body is the answer to a lot of things, not just anxiety. Somehow, when I am truly in that connection I feel a deep sense of ‘home’ and life becomes more about what I have to offer others than anything I myself need.

  31. ‘When I was committed to my work the anxiety didn’t seem to exist as much because my focus was on others rather than on myself’. This is true, when we get self out of the way, we feel more purposeful, so there is no space for anxiousness when feeling purpose.

  32. The switch from body to mind seems to happen instantaneously but once we get awareness of that, we realise the choice and the ability to come back to the body is also available. The difference between feeling the body in connection or in anxiety is miles apart once they both have been felt.

  33. From my whole-body I have come to understand and know not only myself but also life and those people around me in it; that our body is our wisest counsel.

  34. We wouldn’t leave home with the front door wide open and expect to return home to find everything intact. Yet we leave our body and then get surprised when things get in that just aren’t right.

    1. This is a very tangible example you give here how we treat our bodies. We learn how to protect ourselves in life towards others and outer influences but we do not learn how to take care and really care for our dose.

  35. Connecting to our body is the key to solving every dilemma we may have as when we are connected we have the universe pouring through us with all the answers we need.

  36. When I do stay with my body and deepening my connection as I move it is rather like a plough with a furrow, it feels ever deepening, solid and ancient in my bones.

  37. I can never hear this too often – if I feel anxious then I just need to deepen my connection with my body. I know it works too.

    1. Yes, I can vouch for this too. The more I deepen into stillness and am present in my body the less space there is for anxiety which doesn’t belong.

  38. Gill, I have also felt like this in the past; ‘I know the times in the past when I have experienced anxiety I have felt overwhelmed and powerless, unable to feel clear or be at ease with myself.’ I now feel much more steady and do not go into thoughts of self-doubt, I have built trust and feel more confident in myself. Being gentle and caring and staying present in my body has been a huge support for me.

  39. Anxiousness for me is based on my breathing – I am sensitive to a lack of oxygen in a room or a plane and get a little bit panicky if I feel too hot and can’t breathe. Other times I get anxious are when my mind goes round and round in circles creating scenarios that haven’t happened yet. In both cases, gentle breath is the key to settling my body.

  40. Choosing to live and move in connection with the body brings a steadiness and inner confidence that leaves no room for anxiety.

  41. Anna, I can relate to getting caught up in thoughts and becoming anxious. I love the simplicity of what you are sharing and that staying present in our bodies can stop the anxious thoughts. This is a great reminder, thank you.

  42. Thank you Anna, this has been so helpful to read again, I feel I am embarking on the same process you describe of being more connected to myself and my body, and aware of thoughts, pictures, etc, that cause me to go into anxiousness and unsettle me by taking me out of my inner stillness. It’s easier to now let these go with a more solid connection to myself that quickly shows how out of place these thoughts and behaviours causing anxiety are.

  43. When we are present in our bodies anxiousness doesn’t have a hold, we are able to detach from it and observe it rather than get consumed by it.

  44. Yes, connecting with my body is key in overcoming anxiety, but also being prepared to work on and releasing deep seated hurts that get in the way. For instance I recently uncovered a huge deeply seated terror and in allowing it to come up and release I now have so much less anxiousness and can surrender and connect with myself much more deeply which feels so much more solid a foundation for moving forward being myself and trusting what feels true.

  45. Love what you have shared here and can also affirm the benefits of The Gentle Meditation. The support it offers in bringing us back to our body and of feeling safe and being able to not just manage the day to day but also start living a much fuller life within and without.

  46. Connection to the body is indeed the key to overriding anxiety. However in my experience, that was my whole issue in that I did not feel that being in a body was necessarily the safest place to be. I was carrying a lot of trauma around with me and did not trust the sanctity of the physical vehicle I was enhoused within due to the high level of trauma I had experienced both in this life and the many past. Carrying around this load gave me the perfect excuse to live quite disconnected from my physicality, often seeking escape in the emotional/mental/spiritual planes of existence. As a result I became greatly fatigued, completely uncommitted to life and always living in fear that something bad was going to happen. This set me up for a great deal of anxiety that I then had to somehow manage despite not having the tools to do so. Back in these days I would sleep a lot, cry a lot and escape into my own little would often induced by specifically selected art and music. I was still surrounded by friends and family but lived in my own bubble within that, avoiding any form of deeper connection with myself or anyone else.

    Finding Universal Medicine was like finding a golden key to a door I had long ago closed. With the help of the Esoteric healing modalities and the love and care of the practitioners, I was able to make the journey back to the world, to myself and to the true inner world that lives and breathes within us all – the Kingdom of God where our true self and everyone else is found.

    1. A beautiful sharing Liane and one I can deeply relate to. It was not evident for me to connect with my body at first and it took a lot of support from the Esoteric healing modalities and practitioners of Universal Medicine to get me to reconnect. The Ageless Wisdom shows the simplicity of truth but we as human beings with a long momentum of experiences need the Esoteric Healing modalities to support us in bringing this wisdom into a livingness.

  47. Anxiety and the way we are living in our body says a lot and connection to our gentle breath brings us back to a stillness steadiness and who we are. A beautiful sharing and support for the way of lessening anxiety in our lives bringing understanding and inspiration.

  48. I used to be constantly ahead in my head, trying to plan or work out a situation, and the anxiety would rise as different scenarios of how it may be would emerge. Now I live much more in the present and know I can deal with whatever comes my way when it comes.

  49. It seems to me that anxiety is a tool of the spirit to keep us in disarray and disconnected from our soul so the power of the gentle breath and staying connected to ourselves is priceless.

  50. ‘Over time I could feel how staying with my breath supported me to feel a steadiness in my body; I was now beginning to trust myself more and felt a growing confidence within, which gave me a better understanding and acceptance of myself rather than being hard and beating myself up if I felt anxious in front of others.’ – It is incredible how the overall quality in ourselves and the way we feel, can change with the support of the gentle breath meditaiton.

  51. I loved reading how you went from being so anxious to being there for yourself. I’m enjoying being there for myself more and more and how anxiety doesn’t take a hold of me. I’m present and no longer hiding away from what I once feared because I’m accepting myself more than ever before. Writing this I see the next step is accepting myself no matter what. Other people’s opinions are theirs not mine. They are free to think what they like and I’m accepting this and this ok.

  52. In my experience true confidence comes from the body and it would make sense that the way to deal with anxiety is through / via the body.

    1. Same here Christoph, what if we changed how we approached anxiety by learning to live in a way that kept us connected to ourselves in our body and then, based on my experience, that anxiety would be no longer. Or at least hardly ever occur.

  53. Our thoughts can certainly make us anxious because they go round and round in our heads generating emotions we don’t need, picturing scenarios that may never happen and creating a mental havoc that is completely unnecessary. Connecting deep within allows those thoughts to simply blow away and we rediscover our natural stillness.

  54. It’s amazing the turnaround you have had, so helpful to those who suffer from such intense anxiety to know you can move on from it and live a very full life.

    1. I agree Vanessa, this blog needs to be shared far and wide, it can be a true inspiration and actually make a real difference for others who may struggle with anxiety.

  55. Anna, I love the simplicity of this; ‘By focussing on my breath I was able to stay more connected to my body and to stop any stories that started circulating around in my head.’ I have found that if I stay present in my body and don’t project ahead that I can feel joyful; rather than thinking about the next day and about any possible issues.

  56. In my experience Ideals, beliefs, expectations and pictures of how life ‘should or must be’ cause deep contraction in my body. Bringing awareness to this continues to heal and clear the stagnation in the body and emotions. This has been possible from the reflections offered by Serge Benhayon and the way he lives 24/7.
    “What supported me greatly was to take the time to check in with my body and to notice if there were any pictures or ideals about how my day should play out – as this was adding to the anxious thoughts”.

  57. In my observation anxiousness is a condition that we have accepted as normal in our lives to the point that most of us might not even be aware fo it. We are masters in putting up an outer appearance that does not reflect how we truly feel.

    1. This is so true…it’s like we would rather bathe in ignorant bliss than to feel the pulse of life and dare be honest with where we are at. We tend to either dim down or bolster up rather than just allowing ourselves to feel what is actually there.

  58. ‘Over time I could feel how staying with my breath supported me to feel a steadiness in my body’ – the simplicity of this is astounding and this blog shows us that the gentle breath and our connection to it’s gentleness is very powerful.

  59. No perfection (which is in itself a picture and ideal we set ourselves up with) but a willingness to learn and move on from ill patterns of behaviour (anxiety being one) makes life, every day, our moment by moment interactions so rich and inspiring.

  60. Thanks to Serge Benhayon and the practical Gentle Breath Meditation I have been supported and have felt the space to actually connect with and feel my body. This is without question what has supported me to heal the deep level of anxiety and what I have started to develop from this is the appreciate of what I do bring, rather than bringing in the pressures to preform to something I feel I need to be, hence the anxiety.

  61. I have been away from home for the last few days and given the opportunity to be much more present with my body without the distractions that I choose to get caught up in at home. This has highlighted that not only is connection with our body is key but understand how and when we disconnect, if only for a short time is just as important. In these moments when less than focused on our connection or to the point of being checked we give access to our body for something else to be present which not only does not serve us but will interfere with our natural state of being. This does not make us a victim of it however as we made the choice to disconnect and not be fully present – this lesson I know.

  62. We can look like the most efficient person in the world who’s ‘got it all together’ but if we’re using those tasks not to feel we’ll be controlled and run by anxiety underneath.

    1. Yes, anxiety has much less of a hold on us in my experience the more we sort out life out on a daily or even minute-by-minute basis.

  63. The more settled and still in myself I become the less I get affected by what is going on around me. I am still inconsistent with this and know it’s making the commitment to stay in connection to my body and breath that will ultimately allow me to stay steady no matter what comes my way.

  64. Anna with the body we can appreciate that we don’t need to hold onto the anxiousness of life, we get to feel how anxious we are and then gradually choose to live a different way – a way that allows us to not rely on anxiousness to get through life. Step by step from anxiety to anxiety free.

  65. By allowing ourselves to surrender deeply to our bodies as often as is possible allows the opportunity to access the deep wisdom that we all hold within, which is holds a divine power above and beyond anything that any imaginable kind of emotion is capable of.

  66. I am forever and continually amazed at how powerful the Gentle Breath Meditation is in its ability to support the being inside the body to become more settled.

  67. Anna, what you are sharing in this article is pure gold. I have experienced how loosing connection and over thinking things in my head can mean that I can become anxious. Staying present with my body allows me to feel steady and allows me to respond calmly and clearly rather than to react emotionally to situations.

    1. Beautifully expressed Rebecca, I find the over thinking can lead me quickly away from myself and into all kinds of anxious scenarios and heightened feelings of anxiety and stress. The body feels very solid and calm without the thinking.

  68. While I am still in a learning, I notice that only incidents that are challenging to me take me out of my body and into the mental thinking instead, leaving my body unattended in which then anxiety starts to build up.

    1. That trip switch from body to mind is very interesting and is probably a default position for most of us. It is amazing to start to spot this and reverse the trip back from mind led to being body connected.

      1. But is it valid to consider that these ‘challenges’ are of my own creation and when I go into that anxiety I consciously choose to lose the plot?

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